Search form

Scroll To Top
News & Opinion

FBI Investigates 'Possible' Hate Crime in Atlanta

Possible hate crime in Atlanta.

The man who threw boiling water onto a sleeping gay couple is being investigated for a hate crime.

The FBI has opened a hate crime investigation regarding a February attack when Martin Blackwell, 48, deliberately poured boiling water onto his girlfriend Kim Foster's sleeping son, Anthony Gooden, 23, and his boyfriend, Marquez Tolbert, 21.

The men had returned to Gooden's apartment, that he shares with his mother, Foster, after a long day at work. Both had fallen asleep and were reportedly awoken by the scalding water that Blackwell had poured on them.

Following the attack, Tolbert told WSBTV2 Atlanta that he was the victim of a hate crime. He said that Blackwell grabbed him and said, "'Get out of my house with all that gay.'" According to the police report, Blackwell was disgusted with the boys' relationship and told responding officers that "they'll be alright. It was just a little bit of hot water on them."

Kim Foster has vehemently spoken out against Blackwell, her boyfriend of three years. She told WSBTV2 that Blackwell was questioning her son's relationship the night before the attack, but she had told him it was none of his own business.

"I said, 'That's not your house. You need to mind your business.' [And he said,] 'Well, they laying up there.' I said, 'That is not your business. [Anthony] don't bother you. That boy don't bother you. This is not your house,'"

According to WSBTV2 Atlanta, both men suffered severe burns and have since undergone skin grafts following the attack. Tolbert was hospitalized for 10 days and hasn't been able to sleep since.

"The pain doesn't let you sleep. It's just, like, it's excruciating, 24 hours a day, and it doesn't go anywhere. It doesn't dial down, anything. It's just there."

Gooden suffered a worse fate and was put into a medically induced coma for two weeks. He reportedly faces two years of recovery following Blackwell's hateful actions. Following his release from the hospital, Gooden is still trying to understand what happened to him:

"It still hurt my family. It still hurt me. Thinking about it. I just feel like that was real hateful. You didn't have to do that to nobody. You could have walked out the door. Could've walked down the street. Could have done anything. To pour hot water on us? That's evil."

Although Blackwell has remained in the Fulton County jail since the incident, the charges lack the hate crime enhancement. The state of Georgia doesn't recognize any LGBT hate-related laws. For Blackwell to face that level of prosecution, the FBI would have to recommend that Blackwell is charged in accordance with federal hate crime laws.

The families of both victims have set up GoFundMe accounts to pay for their treatment and recovery. FBI spokesman Stephen Emmett told WSBTV2 Atlanta that they're investigating whether the attack meets the classification of a hate crime.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Nicholas Richard Rees